Hokies close 2016-17 with their highest ranking since 2010, pegged at number 16 in both polls.
After a thrilling National Championship on Monday night in which the #2 Clemson Tigers defeated the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide 35-31 (Go ACC) to close the 2016-17 season, the Associated Press and Amway Coaches’ Polls were released on Tuesday.
Unsurprisingly, both polls had Clemson ranked first in the final polling of the season following their National Title win, with Alabama finishing second in both rankings.
The Virginia Tech Hokies, meanwhile, closed the season in late December with a thrilling 35-24 comeback victory in the Belk Bowl. The Hokies entered the Belk Bowl ranked 22nd in the nation, but with the release of the final rankings of the season on Tuesday, the Hokies made the jump to #16 in both polls.
The finish at No. 16 for the Hokies was the best polling finish for the team since the 2010 season, when they closed out at number 16 in the AP and number 15 in the Coaches’ Poll. It was a fitting bow tied around a successful 10-4 first season for head coach Justin Fuente, who stepped in to replace the legendary Frank Beamer, who retired at the end of last season after nearly 30 years at the helm.
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The Hokies will be replacing a plethora of talent on offense next season, with quarterback Jerod Evans, receivers Isaiah Ford and Bucky Hodges, and offensive linemen Jonathan McLaughlin and Augie Conte departing due to the NFL Draft and graduation.
Even with talent lost on offense, the Hokies still likely project as a Top 25 team heading into the 2017-18 season. For now though, the team can reflect on a successful season, while working towards finalizing a strong recruiting class at the beginning of February before starting spring football shortly thereafter.